Pakistan

Pakistan not to seek international help for quake victims

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Islamabad_(dpa) _ Pakistan said Wednesday that it does not intend to seek international help following the deadly earthquake that hit country's south-west Balochistan province, killing dozens of people and leaving thousands homeless.

"According to initial information the situation is localized so far. We can deal with it," Farooq Ahmed Khan, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority told reporters in Islamabad.

"If someone wants to provide assistance, it would be most welcome. But we do not want to make an appeal at the international level," he added.

Earlier, the European Union offered humanitarian help to Pakistan.

"The EU stands ready to assist Pakistan with humanitarian assistance if requested," EU external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in a statement.

According to Khan, 115 people have been confirmed dead so far and around 300 injured. "The death toll is feared to rise. We will have exact figure later in the day."

However, other local officials put the death toll at 160 and feared it might rise as high as 190.

Khan said the government has initially established two tent villages in Ziarat, the worst affected district, for 2,000 to 2,500 people estimated to have lost their homes.

Eight villages, mostly consisting of mud houses, were hit by the tremor with a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale. dpa ns yam im

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